Describe Gregor's mental state in "The Metamorphosis."

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Payal Khullar eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, the protagonist of the story, Gregor, undergoes "metamorphosis", and becomes a bug. But unlike this physical transformation, his mental condition doesn’t change much. He remains a human mentally, and tries to adapt himself to his new outward condition. This means that he owns a human mind inside the body of a bug. A strange thing is that his mind doesn’t question of this occurrence to him. He accepts this horrifying event quite easily as his fate, i.e. mentally he is at peace with his transformation. The only thing that troubles his mind is his physical discomfort in doing things he isn’t that accustomed to do, for example, sitting, eating, drinking, and walking like an insect. As the story progresses, his insect body starts seizing hold on his mind. He finds it good to crawl on walls, hide under sofas, eat rotten food, etc. and it seems he’s becoming an insect mentally, too. But still, his human mind and thought doesn’t really go away completely even till the end. If we see his life before metamorphosis, he is mentally unhappy and dissatisfied with his job, but does it only to fulfill his responsibilities and support his poor family.

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The Metamorphosis

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